Qatar Airways boss accuses Delta Air Lines of flying 'crap' planes

DOHA (AFP) - The chief of Qatar Airways on Monday denied his company receives subsidies and accused rivals Delta Air Lines of flying "crap" older planes, escalating hostilities between Gulf and American carriers.

Speaking at an arts conference in Doha, Mr Akbar al-Baker said any money his airline receives from the state is in the form of "legitimate" equity and added his company's fleet of aircraft were much cleaner for the environment in comparison to Delta. "I think Mr Anderson (chief executive of Delta Richard Anderson) doesn't know the difference between equity and subsidy. We never receive any subsidy," Mr Baker said.

He was responding to claims made earlier this month by three United States airlines - Delta, American and United - that Qatar, along with carriers in the United Arab Emirates have received US$42 billion (S$58.5 billion) in unfair subsidies to wrest business away from competitors.

Mr Baker also accused Delta of flying "crap airplanes that are 35 years old", when talking about pollution by the aviation industry.

In contrast, Mr Baker said Qatar Airways had an "ultra-modern fleet" and was the lowest CO2 contributor in the aviation industry.